Tuesday, March 20, 2007

This makes me angry.

The Women’s War, by Sara Corbett, New York Times Magazine.

If the link expires, you can also read the article here, and here, sans pictures.

A summary of the (not-so) shocking points, posted at Feministing:

...Holy shit, one-third of a nationwide sample of female veterans said they experienced rape or attempted rape during their service. Well, of course rape is rampant in a war zone based on humiliation, sexism, and blind submission to authority. (Hell, rape is rampant everywhere.)

Holy shit, female soldiers are more likely to be diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, sometimes at twice the rate of male soldiers. Well, of course women exposed to the “double whammy,” as Patricia Resick calls it, of sexual trauma and exposure to combat are coming home with some serious mental health issues. Though the 160,000 female soldiers that have been deployed in Iraq often are in roles technically classified as “combat-support,” the violence of this war is ubiquitous. (There were just 7,500 females who served in Vietnam and 41,000 who served in the gulf war.)

Holy shit, the Department of Defense isn’t doing anything to support these women: of the 3,038 investigations of military sexual assault charges in 2004 and 2005, only 329 have resulted in a court-martial of the perpetrator.” Well, of course the government isn’t taking responsibility. Just like they’re not taking responsibility for the rampant brain injuries resulting from this new kind of warfare or the civilian casualties or the lies that got us into this war in the first place or the…you get the point...
And an excerpt from the article that resonated with me:

...There appears to have been little, too, in the way of female bonding in the war zone: most reported that they avoided friendships with other women during the deployment, in part because of the fact that there were fewer women to choose from and in part because of the ridicule that came with having a close friend. ''You're one of three things in the military - a bitch, a whore or a dyke,'' says Abbie Pickett, who is 24 and a combat-support specialist with the Wisconsin Army National Guard. ''As a female, you get classified pretty quickly.''

Many women mentioned being the subject of crass jokes told by male soldiers. Some said that they used sarcasm to deflect the attention but that privately the ridicule wore them down. Others described warding off sexual advances again and again. ''They basically assume that because you're a girl in the Army, you're obligated to have sex with them,'' Suzanne Swift told me at one point...

Read the entire article. It's long, but informative. I have my own observations to make about the article, but I'm too tired to post them all now. Though I will say, I sense a pattern of abuse emerging.

1 comment:

Catherine Avril Morris said...


I don't even know what to say.

Except to direct you toward Twisty's blog post of the other day, about the same article. Some more good reading on the subject.

(Sure hope that html works out...if not I'll repost some other way.)